Ghana folk should have noticed M3NSA from @FOKNBOIS’s tag team with Hungarian producer Elo by now. REDRED is what they chose as a name for the project- it’s inspired by Ghana’s signature dish of sweet fried plantains with beans in spicy palm oil. Although scheduled for an Independence Day release at the beginning of the month, the track’s message is still right on time. “How Far” critiques Ghana’s current economic and political stagnation and a social apathy enforced by religion. This is a really refreshing time as more and more Ghanaian artists are inspired to make music that reflects our times.
M3NSA told Thump in an interview:
“6 March, Ghana’s Independence Day. The day Ghanaians stop and ask themselves if they’re better off since gaining independence from their colonial masters or if it’s all just a farce. And more often than not the answer is the latter. This is not because they would rather suffer under colonial rule, but because they mostly feel let down by their own chosen leaders.
For the rest of the year there’s no time for the average person to stop and deliberate over the state of the country because of constant battles with power crises, lack of running water, access to basic social amenities, and health care is enough to keep your hands full until next March, This is the 59th year. Happy Independence Day, Ghana.”
@FOKNBOIS have been at it for a long bit, so no surprises there. “How Far” was shot in the oldest and probably most spectacular part of Accra – James Town Gamashie. From the iconic Light House to the ruins of the Sea View, the oldest hotel in Accra, the video weaves a series of poignant moments into a beautiful color pallette as an ode to the old city. At the core of this African Electronic Dance tune is a fundamental question of how far we’ve come as a nation since (in)Dependence. Protest music with synth heavy drums and electrified bass is clearly resetting the stage for Ghanaian music by questioning our country’s setbacks and the odd ways history repeats itself.
RedRed says they’re using this electro fusion of African Electronic Dance Music (AEDM) as a form of liberation theory that can steer us to more progressive ways of life. Perhaps in the same way that reggae carried political significance to youth liberation movements around the world, at least between the 1970s – 1990s. Now more than ever, there’s a need to dig ourselves out of a dependence on foreign aid and coercive financial interests, nearly 60 years following the event of Independence.
On this, M3NSA had to say:
“The future is now. We’re rallying up our generation, the new generation in the most relevant form. So, if it has to be Reggae then we’re fusing its synths and dubbing it up to make it even edgier and more contemporary. Stepping up the tempo at times perhaps to signify the urgency and pumping heartbeats. Everyone is connected to the electronic hub somehow so you can’t deny it or pigeonhole the sound of the movement. All we are doing is fusing what’s indigenous to us with the future”.
“How Far” is directed by Ghanaian-Swiss filmmaker Jarreth Merz for Junction Film Ghana.